Thursday, November 20, 2014

Aloha to Annapolis


The United States Naval Acadmey is nestled in downtown Annapolis along its waterfront.  From Visit Annapolis (link),

If you're a history buff, Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay belong on your bucket list. A Museum without Walls, Annapolis served as our nation's first peacetime capital. Maryland's four signers of the Declaration of Independence had homes here, and you can visit three of those residencestoday. A walk down our brick-lined streets puts you in touch with four centuries of history and architecture. There are more 18th-century brick homes in Annapolis than any other city in the nation.


This colorful Bed & Breakfast caught my eye!


The Navy patrols the harbor.



Do you have a favorite harbor?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, November 22, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, November 23, at SOS Aloha.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City






Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Aloha to the United States Naval Academy


For Veterans Day, I drove my guests to the United States Naval Academy (USNA) in historic Annapolis.  From its website (link),

Through the efforts of the Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft, the Naval School was established without Congressional funding, at a 10-acre Army post named Fort Severn in Annapolis, Maryland, on October 10, 1845, with a class of 50 midshipmen and seven professors. The curriculum included mathematics and navigation, gunnery and steam, chemistry, English, natural philosophy, and French.


We joined the free tour for veterans ... our first stop brought us to Bill the Goat.  

Long before midshipmen began tossing the pigskin around the site of old Fort Severn, goats were an integral part of Navy life. Over 200 years ago, livestock was kept aboard some sea-going naval vessels to provide sailors with food, milk, eggs and, in some cases, pets.


It was not until 1893, however, that a live goat made his debut as a mascot at the fourth Army-Navy game. Again, it was young naval officers who supplied the mids with their sea-faring pet. The USS New York dropped anchor off Annapolis and the ship’s mascot, a goat bearing the name El Cid (The Chief), was brought ashore for the service clash. The West Pointers were defeated for the third time, and the midshipmen feted El Cid along with the team.


The Chapel Dome (left) overlooks the Commandant's House (right with green stripped awnings).


Walking to the midshipman dorm, we spotted a midshipman ...


... in front of the submarine memorial.

Have you visited any of the service academies?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, November 22, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, November 23, at SOS Aloha.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City




Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Aloha to Fort Myer, Arlington National Cemetary, and the USMC Memorial


The area surrounding the Pentagon, including Fort Myer, Henderson Hall, and Arlington National Cemetery, came from the Custis-Lee estate.  From Wikipedia (link),

Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, formerly named the Custis-Lee Mansion, is a Greek revival style mansion located in Arlington, Virginia, USA that was once the home of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. It overlooks the Potomac River and the National Mall in Washington, D.C. During the American Civil War, the grounds of the mansion were selected as the site of Arlington National Cemetery, in part to ensure that Lee would never again be able to return to his home. However, the United States has since designated the mansion as a National Memorial to Lee, a mark of widespread respect for him in both the North and South. Arlington Woods, located behind Arlington House, contains the oldest and largest tract of climax eastern hardwood forest that still exists in Arlington County.

Fort Myer is home of the 3rd US Infantry Regiment - the Old Guard.  The Old Guard serves as the Honor Guard for ceremonies at Fort Myers' Old Post Chapel (I was married at the chapel).   Above is a photo of the Old Guard in the Arlington National Cemetery (Image by SMA Dunway, 2008, Public Domain).  


We walked from Fort Myer into Arlington National Cemetery and down to the "eteranl flame" to honor President John F. Kennedy, US Navy veteran.



Walking back to Fort Myer, we passed the head stone for General Abner Doubleday.  Notice the baseballs.   From History.com (link)

Abner Doubleday (1819-1893) served as a Union general during the Civil War (1861-65). A native of New York, Doubleday graduated from West Point and served during the Mexican-American War (1846-48). In 1861 he was second-in-command at Fort Sumter, where he ordered the Union’s first shots of the Civil War in response to the bombardment by secessionist forces. Promoted to brigadier general in February 1862, Doubleday participated in the Second Battle of Bull Run (Manassas) and the Battle of Antietam later that year. Doubleday led a corps on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863, and then served in administrative duty in Washington, D.C., for the rest of the conflict. After the Civil War Doubleday remained in the army and was stationed in California and Texas. He died in 1893 at the age of 73. Doubleday was popularly credited with inventing the game of baseball for many years, but this claim was later debunked.


We exited the east side of Fort Myer to the National Park with a famous sculpture - the United States Marine Corps (UMSC) War Memorial.  From the National Park Service (link),

On the morning of February 19, 1945, the 4th and 5th Marine Divisions invaded Iwo Jima after an ineffective 72-hour bombardment. The 28th Regiment of the 5th Division, was ordered to capture Mount Suribachi. They reached the base of the mountain on the afternoon of February 21 and, by nightfall the next day, had almost completely surrounded it. On the morning of February 23, Marines of Company E, 2nd Battalion, started the tortuous climb up the rough terrain to the top. At about 10:30 am men all over the island were thrilled by the sight of a small American flag flying from atop Mount Suribachi. That afternoon, when the slopes were clear of enemy resistance, a second, larger flag was raised by five Marines and a Navy hospital corpsman: Sgt. Michael Strank, Cpl. Harlon H. Block, Pfc. Franklin R. Sousley, Pfc. Rene A. Gagnon, Pfc. Ira Hayes, and PhM. 2/c John H. Bradley, USN.


Have you visited any sites in Washington, DC?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, November 22, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, November 23, at SOS Aloha.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City 

Memorial on Mout Suribachi (2003)
U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Bill Evans (Public Domain)


Monday, November 17, 2014

Aloha to the Pentagon and the Air Force Memorial


Last Monday, a college friend served as our tour guide of the Pentagon.  I worked in the Pentagon from Jun4 1995 - July 1997 at the Single Agency Manager (SAM) for Information Technology Services (ITS).  My office reworked the the infrastructure during the Pentagon renovation - a renovation that would lessen the impact of the plane crash on September 11, 2001.   Above is the Pentagon from 1998 (Public Domain at this link).   


The plane crashed into the section to the left of the forward parking lot (the white concrete was a helicopter pad).  This section is now the Pentagon Memorial.  


Across from the Pentagon is the Air Force Memorial.  From its website (link),

The United States Air Force Memorial honors the service and sacrifices of the men and women of the United States Air Force and its predecessor organizations, including the Aeronautical Division, U.S. Signal Corps; the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps; the Division of Military Aeronautics, Secretary of War; the Army Air Service; the U.S. Army Air Corps; and the U.S. Army Air Forces. More than 54,000 Airmen have died in combat while serving in the Air Force and these historical service arms of the military.


The Memorial itself is 270 feet high and appears to be soaring. Its array of arcs against the sky evokes a modern image of flight by jet and space vehicles. At the same time, it enshrines the past in permanent remembrance of the pioneers of flight who came before, and pays homage to those of the future.


Located on a promontory in Arlington, Virginia, overlooking the Pentagon and adjacent to Arlington Cemetery, the Air Force Memorial is easily seen on the skyline of Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia in Arlington county.


Above is the Washington Memorial.  Below is the "missing man" etching. 


What do you know about the Air Force?  Do you know any Air Force veterans ... other than me?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, November 22, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, November 23.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City




Sunday, November 16, 2014

Aloha to Baltimore's Inner Harbor



After visiting Fort McHenry, we made a short drive to Baltimore's heart - the Inner Harbor.  


Baltimore hosts tall ships each year (link) ... and the Statsraad Lehmkuhl was docked in the Inner Harbor!   

Statsraad Lehmkuhl, a 3-masted barque, was launched in 1914. She is used by the Norwegian Navy as a training vessel, but many cruises and tours are open to the public. However, she is not a passenger vessel. Those civilians who come aboard are sailor trainees, participating in all of the activities of the ship and quartering below decks in hammocks, just like sailors of old.


The Inner Harbor is home to four historic ships.  From its website (link),

Historic Ships in Baltimore represent one of the most impressive collections of military vessels in the world. Located within easy walking distance of each other, the US Sloop-of-War Constellation, the US Submarine Torsk, the US Coast Guard Cutter Taney, and the Lightship Chesapeake exhibit life at sea from the mid-19th century to the mid-1980's. Also included in the collection is the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse which marked the entrance to the Patapsco River and Baltimore Harbor for over 130 years.

The USS Constellation is currently closed for repairs ... I'm not sure which ship (above) is occupying her dock.


When Lightship 116 "Chesapeake" was completed in 1930, she was among the most modern and capable ships in use with the US Lighthouse Service. Part of the vessel class of Lightship No.100, Lightship 116 was constructed from a standard design and boasted the best in stability, signaling capacity, living accommodations, and engineering efficiency then available.


Commissioned on 16 December 1944, USS TORSK was built at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and was one of only ten Tench Class fleet type submarines to see service in World War II. Deployed to the Pacific, TORSK operated from Pearl Harbor and made two war patrols off Japan during the spring and summer of 1945. 


My son's Scout Troop is scheduled to stay overnight aboard the USS Torsk!  Have you toured a submarine?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, November  22, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, November 23.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City 


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Aloha to Fort McHenry

Baltimore.org

Last weekend, we hosted distant cousins from England.  On Sunday, it was a clear crisp day to visit Fort McHenry.  From its website (link),

O! say can you see, by the dawn's early light, a large red, white and blue banner? 


Whose broad stripes and bright stars . . . were so gallantly streaming! 

Over the star-shaped Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore, September 13-14, 1814. The valiant defense of the fort inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner."


Fort McHenry displays the cannon balls from the War of 1812.


The cannons date to the Civil War.


The guides dressed in WWI uniforms.


Notice the 48 stars from WWII flag ...


... demonstrating how Fort McHenry has been used since the War of 1812.


We bumped into a promotion celebration for Navy reservists.


The Baltimore Fire Department docks Fire Boat No. 2 at Fort McHenry.  It is named for former Mayor Thomas D'Alesandro, Jr. 

Have you visited a coastal defense?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's posts wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, November 22, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, November 23.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City


Thursday, October 16, 2014

WRW Loves Readers Luncheon


On Saturday, I drove to Bethesda for the WRW Loves Readers Luncheon.  From its website (link),

Come for an intimate meet and greet and dine with more than 40 of your favorite romance authors. Authors will be giving out swag, books and much more! Featured authors include:

Alexa Egan - Kieran Kramer - PA DePaul

Anne Barton - Kim Headlee - Rachel Rawling
Avery Flynn - Kimberly Kincaid - Robin Covington
Caryn Moya Block - Krista Hall - Sally MacKenzie
Christi Barth - Lavinia Kent - Shari Slade
Cristin Harber - Liz Everly - Solara Gordon

Debra Dunbar - Lynne Silver - Sonali Dev
Delancey Stewart - Mackenzie Lucas - Tamra Lassiter
Elizabeth Staab - Madeline Iva - Terri Brisbin
Geri Krotow - Mary Behre - Tracey Livesay
Hope Ramsay - Meredith Bond - Tracy Brogan
Jamie Farrell - Mia Kerick Karna Small-Bodman 
Miguelina Perez - Kelly Maher - Nicole Pouchet 


I joined Delancey Stewart, Tracy Brogan, and Kieran Kramer. 



The readers at my table received these treats ...



... plus a tea cup and tea pot combo set!




Each table offered unique decorations ... Hope Ramsey made these "picnic" baskets.


I loved these duckies!



Hats off to the WRW for hosting this fabulous event!   Have you attended an author event?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a book choice from my convention stash. Comments are open through Saturday, October 18, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, October 19, on SOS Aloha.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Romance authors and chocolate cake - life is good!